Flea Control and Treatment
Signs that you have a Flea Infestation
Even just the thought of having fleas in one’s home can make one’s skin crawl. If you are worried that you may have a flea infestation, there are several different signs to look out for, such as if you see them bouncing from surface to surface, or on your carpets or furniture; finding dot-like insects in your pet’s fur; and seeing your pet excessively scratch, bite, or lick themselves. If left for too long, your pets can end up with scabs, and they may lose their fur. As a result of excessive blood loss, they may even develop pale gums.
What Causes a Flea Infestation?
The main cause of a flea infestation is leaving them for too long, meaning they will keep reproducing until they have completely infested your home. Additionally, fleas may hop onto your pet’s fur from another pet, or from infested dirt or grass. Since these pests prefer warm, humid places, they are more likely to appear in warmer months. If any of your pets have recently had fleas, it is recommended that you have all bedding, furniture and carpets washed where your pet was. Fleas like to stay on the underbelly of animals, meaning they can be easily transferred when your pet lies down.
When do you need a Flea Treatment
Flea Treatments become necessary when you or your animals have excessive bites daily.
The Flea Treatment needs to be done aggressively and regularly to rid you and your animals from a re-infestation.
Numbers Speak For Themselves!
How to Identify Fleas
Almost everyone knows what a flea looks like. However, for those that do not – they are typically dark coloured and have a proboscis or stylet that is adapted to feeding by piercing the skin and sucking the blood of the host through their epipharynx. In terms of larvae, they are small and pale, and feed on organic matter.
Fleas typically feed on a wide range of warm-blooded vertebrae, such as dogs, cats, humans, rabbits, mice, birds, squirrels, and ferrets, to name a few. Fun fact – fleas tend to specialise in one host species or group of species. They can feed on other species in some cases but cannot reproduce on other species.
Direct effects of bites
No matter what species the flea may be reproducing on, or using as its host, they are a nuisance. The ‘bite’ from these pests causes an itching sensation. This causes the host to either attempt to remove the pest by biting or pecking at them or relieve the itching sensation by scratching. However, these pests can be a source of more than just annoyance.
Flea bites cause an elevated and swollen nodule on the epidermis at the site of the bite with a single, small puncture wound. For some, this leads to flea allergy dermatitis, common in cats and dogs, which is an eczematous itchy skin disease.
The effect of the bite will depend on a variety of factors, such as how long the fleas are left on the host, the sensitivity of the host’s skin, the number of bites experienced by the host, etc. In extreme cases, if left for too long, they can even cause anaemia.